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Dec 22, 2012 10:00am EST
diplomatic compound in benghazi but it turned out not to be necessary. i didn't spend that much time because i did a lot of imbedded reporting but i passed through and they shifted to a different location. they maintain a bureau there with armored cars, full time iraqi staff, it was a fairly expensive endeavor for the newspaper. >> host: is life for any americans still in iraq still glass walls and armored cars? >> guest: it has improved. i was there not last summer but the summer before to see prime minister maliki and i went around in the streets with all iraqis, walked around, went to a demonstration, went to a store. i wouldn't linger in the more contested neighborhoods. if you went into solder city would make sure you have security. is better than it was, a million times better than in 2006-2007 and from the military perspective the surge did drive down the level of violence. it made it possible for american forces to leave but there are a lot of very unsettled political issues including a worrisome trend towards authoritarianism by the iraqi government. >> host: michael gordon's new bo
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